“Ten year old Greg, listens to his younger sibling’s plea for signing a ‘Parent Confirmation Report’ for school affirming that the parent was aware about the child in question not completing his home test paper. Father is out of town, and mother is sick in bed. Greg has to think quickly as to how to react to this plea keeping in mind the dilemma of doing a wrong deed of signing a parent report without the parent’s knowledge and protecting the young one from the teacher’s wrath the next day.
He knows well, he cannot share it with the parents. Greg finally gives in to his brother’s plea just this once, but strictly warns him not to repeat this again. The next day Greg bakes a cake for his sick mother, as repentance for his wrong deed. ” According to Piaget’s theory, Greg can be said to be evolving from the second stage of Moral Realism to the third stage of Moral Relativity.
Greg is at an age appropriate stage as per this theory as he displays behavior from moral relativity stage by accepting to do a wrong deed for the sake of protecting his brother and not troubling the sick mother thereby displaying stage-appropriate behavior that rules are not fixed, and can be changed by mutual consent.
However, Greg also displays behavior from the earlier stage of moral realism by warning his brother not to repeat the act as rules are made by an authority and should be observed. He vents out his feelings of guilt by doing a special deed for his mother by baking a cake for her. According to Kohlberg’s theory, Greg displays classic behavior from the Conventional level, stage 3, the Good Boy-Girl stage. He yearns to be the good brother and good son by doing what is required of him in the dilemma.
However, he also displays some behavior of the stage 4, Law and order, that the act is wrong, and should not be repeated hereafter, thereby suggesting his transitional phase between the two stages. Greg is not displaying age appropriate behavior considering Kohlberg’s second level of reasoning develops in early adolescence. Greg seems to be at an advanced level as per this theory. References Berk, L. E. (1996). Moral development. Child Development (pp. 481-489). New Delhi: Prentice Hall of India Private Limited.
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